O's make solid contact, but little to show for it
After Machado's leadoff homer, Showalter says club hit ball to 'wrong part of the park'
PHILADELPHIA -- From the first at-bat of the game, it appeared that the Orioles' game plan didn't deviate from what had worked the past few days: swing hard and put the ball in the air.
And after Manny Machado's leadoff home run, it seemed that game plan was going to work again in a 2-1 loss to the Phillies.
Well, it didn't seem like that to everybody. Buck Showalter dreaded the home run.
"No I thought just the opposite," Baltimore's manager said. "It's funny there's kind of a step back there a little bit."
In the loss, that step back came in the form of a multitude of close calls. In addition to 10 strikeouts, Baltimore lined or flew out to the outfield eight times in a span of seven innings, many of which off the bat looked like they had might find a safe spot to land in the outfield grass, if not in the bleachers.
The flyouts came courtesy of the most potent section of the Orioles' lineup, as seven of the eight outs vaulted off the bats of the first five batters in the lineup. Furthermore, Chris Parmelee and Chris Davis, the No. 3 and No. 4 hitters in the lineup, combined to fly out five times.
Showalter said he didn't think these outs were so much a product of his players missing their mark as it was his players hitting the ball to the wrong place.
"I don't know about [the ball] dying," Showalter said. "We were hitting it to the wrong part of the park."
Parmelee was a prime example. After going 5-for-9 with three home runs in his first two days as an Oriole on Tuesday and Wednesday, Parmelee didn't quite live up in the finale. After walking in the first inning, his next three at-bats ended in either the left fielder's or the center fielder's glove.
Showalter said he was impressed by how the club's newest addition squared up the pitches he faced.
"Chris is seeing the ball real well," Showalter said. "He just missed a few balls. He's not cheating on the fastball, which allows him to recognize the breaking ball and he's spitting on some pitches."
Like Showalter, Parmelee too conceded he missed his mark ever so slightly on those balls, saying that a minor difference in bat placement could've drastically altered the outcome.
"[I was] just missing it just a little bit," Parmelee said. "An inch here, an inch there, it's probably a different day and it's a different ballgame. But that's the way it goes. It's baseball."